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Page history last edited by Ardis Cheng 14 years, 4 months ago

Assessment Cycle: Designing


This wiki page is provided for recording small group discussions about issues relating to the use of Web 2.0 technologies and designing assessment.



Denise Chalmers

Matthew Allen

Tracey Bretag

Mark Lee

Alison Ruth

Arthur Winzenried             

Scribe: Ardis Cheng


The task for this small group discussion is to build on the recommendations identified in the morning session and consider how these might be applied at the design stage in the assessment cycle. In this session, the aim is to identify general recommendations, rather than technology-specific ones.

Design Assessment

Do make it match the objectives

Learning objectives have to be enabled

Identify the learning

Learning can be met by different tasks – web 2 can meet the tasks (ubiquitious)

If the need can be met by different ways, the technology can be used

Design the task before selecting the technology?

But the task is enabled by the different technologies

Clear objectives but flexibility and honing on affordances of the different technologies

Allow collaboration in different ways – afford construction and co-construction, social learning environment (eg. Sharing of document, continual negotiation key)

If focusing on co-construction or collaboration then it justifies using  a web 2 technology


Make learning objectives clear

Technologies fulfil objectives

Objectives clear, transparent and succinct

Not just designing task, but design it to be wide enough to encompass all 3 (technology, objectives, outcomes)

Co-construction of a task that takes in learning objectives and technology

Where do the students start?

Design decisions need to be made in partnership – how is this different from traditional assessment?

Reliable platform needed

The task needs to be designed to take advantage of availability of technology and the end point isn’t so defined (there are guides) but outcomes are not nailed down – there are outcomes that are not predicted (allow for creativity)

Scaffolding process

Need to choose technology supported by institution

PhD student designed a platform that the university in Thailand did not have the resources to support what she had defined and built – was too dependent of bandwidth

Don’t let the technology get in the way of the learning – not the sole driving force  - you have to be technologically responsible

Don’t let technology be the object – it is just the tool

Great degree of fluidity- feeding back into the design

Co-construction – what these techs allow – let students use a suite of technologies

The technology is an enabler to achieve the form of the outcome

Fitness for purpose – if task is to teach people to use wiki – this is different from telling people to work together but who are geographically far apart

Everything said about web 2 was said about web 1 back in the 90s

Web 2 – incredible diversity – the challenge

We want learning outcomes with particular affordances from technologies – what are the hurdles (maybe specific to the situation)

Do take into account the diverse needs, the diversity of the students, how to assess the results, moderation, numbers, marking, what can be achieved (10 postgrad students results will differ to results from 100 undergrad students), management

Tracking of students to verify that what students do is their work

University is looking at the maths – ex. Business (how many students can you fit into the lecture hall)

Need to be realistic – what you can do on the ground (both for the student and the marker)

When would web 2 be an authentic experience for a student? Authentic to what? Students refer to the real world but we are in the real world

Authenticity – whether the outcomes of the student are something they learned – maybe relevance is a better word? Personal meaning and revelence. Idealizing the real world is a dangerous term.

Authentic question – students can delve into it and talk about why (not superficial – require higher-level thinking, not regurgitation)

Ownership of the learning, of the work

Vested interest

Sense of purpose, why people would want to do it – authenticity

In some instances, might not see the revelance right away (math)

Co-construction between learners, the complexitiy, the fine-tuning of the work/process

What makes web 2 different? The co-construction, the openness to this co-construction

How is this linked to web2? More openness to immediacy, more transparent

People cooperating online are not necessarily more transparent – transparency referring to logged work (assesser can look at what was contributed to the work)

Do be aware of the process (more emphasis on the process over product)

Do use Web 2 if you are focusing on process

But process is not the core thing. A lot of assessment now does focus too much on the product. Need to be aware of the process that can be assessed. When are you not interested in the process? The gov’t – as long you get there and produce

In the end – do you really want to assess the process. Isn’t the product the standards that you identify.

You can build in things to measure the process. Ex. International student using wiki – could see his process and see the progress of the student

Web 2 provides the opportunity to provide feedback – the capacity to get that feedback immediately and see how others students fair

Do you use web 2 to get ongoing feedback? The access to ongoing feedback and the opportunity to respond to that before the product is produced

The capacity to see other people’s working at the same time as yours – while I’m doing my learning and getting feedback, I can see other people, their feedback and their responses – really opening up (students learning from each other)

Some lecturers don’t like having students look at each other’s work, taking what they like, and integrating into their work – goes against traditional teaching/learning

Legitimacy – student opinions become more legitimate if taken into account during the process – what is rewarded – circles around the issue of ownership the process becomes legitimized

Contribution in process are being validated

Can’t just take on other people’s opinion – critical reflectivity is being developed – de-centering of traditional ways of education (instructor is no longer the sole source of instruction because of this co-construction/co-learning)

Ex. Academics penalized at a university for poor grades from their students therefore they don’t want to spread out the teaching (assume complete control)


Reflect on what you mean by web 2 (no right answer but people shouldn’t get into something just because other people are or other people tell you to or its the latest fad) – Don’t use Web 2 just because you think its a fad

What’s the next step?

What are your own goals and attitudes? Do they match up to Web 2? (par the reflection)

Need to be clear on learning objectives – know what the technologies are and whether they marry up to the objectives

People need more help, especially those who don’t know much about web 2 – how can they reflect?

Can’t be too rigid – know the sorts of learning but accept that it may exceed it or not reach

Triangulate – objectives, task, application (once you have decided to use Web 2 and have reflected on it)

Authenticity – attempting to demonstrate potentially sceptical students the revelence

Pertinent vs impertinent (instead of authenticity and relevence) – getting students engaged, the task is realistic

Make assessment task pertinent after triangulation and iterate

Providing feedback – make the assessment practical

Access to ongoing feedback is a particular affordance that this technology allows – the teacher doesn’t have to be the one to provide feedback, other students can contribute

Building a learning community

Feedback is the one thing that absolutely contributes to learning – feedback is the beginning, middle, and end of a task

What an interaction between those who know the domain and those who don’t (between instructor and student, student and student, etc – experts and novices)

Students take on multiple roles – can be expert, can be novice

Communities is not the answer to everything but the give and take of feedback and web 2 facilitates this

Feedback is underrated by teachers and needs to be put up front, middle, and end

From feedback to feed

Triangulation – emphasis on not the teacher being the sole designer (it would be impertinent for the teacher to be the only designer and students just as contributors – not active designers)


Comments (2)

Mary Simpson said

at 2:49 pm on Nov 23, 2009

I'm interested in issues to do with design especially when working within programmes. All the tools considered this morning have great possibilities and I can see these possibilities being recognized in the discussions. When working with students within a programme we would want to use a variety of tools and ensure variety in assessment activities - wouldn't we? How then do we design for variety of tool use and variety in assessment experience? Or isn't that important?

a.t.kirkwood@open.ac.uk said

at 1:15 am on Nov 26, 2009

Within the practice-based MA modules offered by IET at the UK Open University students from around the world are encouraged to discuss issues within their groups and to undertake online group activities. As far as possible, the activities are aligned with assignments and the end-of-course assessment. However, the assessment of group work does not fit comfortably with existing university assessment regulations that focus upon ensuring that everything submnitted is "the student's own work". We have found it helpful to assess BOTH the product and the process of group work - the latter gives learners the opportunity to reflect upon their experience of group working (positives and negatives) and to draw attention to what they have learned from the process. This allows learners to get marks for the personal gains as well as the group's product.

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